Immigration and crime

Authored by: Rebecca Wickes , Michelle Sydes

The Routledge Handbook on Crime and International Migration

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415823944
eBook ISBN: 9780203385562
Adobe ISBN: 9781135924331


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The last century has witnessed significant growth in immigration. Recent figures show that 232 million people worldwide are residing outside their country of birth, representing an increase of 25 per cent in just over a decade, acording to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA 2013). Internationally, immigration is at an all-time high, not just in developed nations, where the foreign-born population totals 136 million, but also in developing countries, where 96 million migrants are estimated to live (ibid.). The increasing ethnic/racial diversity that stems from immigration can positively impact economic and cultural growth in both sending and receiving nations (Putnam 2007; Goldin, Cameron and Balarajan 2012). At the same time, this diversity can drive negative attitudes towards immigrants, who are perceived to threaten cultural identity, steal native jobs, place a strain on the economy and increase crime rates (Mayda 2006; Sides and Citrin 2007; McLaren and Johnson 2007).

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